General Cleaning

Being home most of the day can lead to two very different ideas about what the general state of the apartment should be. Sometimes, you get tunnel vision, focusing on just what’s in front of you, unable to see the general clutter and din around you. Sometimes, you look up and see nothing but a mess of objects, trash, and clutter. Today, after I decided that my nausea meant to that I didn’t need to run at the gym today, I saw objects, trash, and clutter.

If you knew me in college, you remember my room that was humbly known as “The Closet.” It was just big enough to get a futon into with a little bit of space to walk. Lucky for me, being so small, I wasn’t really able to spread out my stuff. I mean, how much crap can you spread out in a room that was probably less that 100 sq ft? That did, unfortunately, mean that I was walking on my clothes most of the time.

Seriously – you could dig down and figure out what I wore at the beginning of the semester. It’s like looking through the layers of limestone.

I always remember, though, how clear my head felt once I cleaned that room. Just having a clear pathway made me feel like a new man, even if the room was basically a closet. Unfortunately, the concept of cleaning is often far down on the list of things of import. Usually, it goes like this:

  • Important Thing 1
  • Important Thing 2
  • Important Thing 3
  • Cleaning

Because my brain seems to be stuck to a track like the Buzz Lightyear ride of Disneyland, if I don’t get past Thing 1 for whatever reason (usually, dragging my feet and watching Netflix), cleaning never gets done. I mean, maybe I’ll push a pile on the table from one corner to the other (it balances the room better on the left side), but real cleaning rarely gets done. It’s just piles next to new piles.

Now that I have an apartment several times the size of The Closet, it’s just more of the same. We have one room – “The Office” – that right now has no floor visible. For some reason, that closed door, even though I can’t see the mess, drives me up the wall. Unfortunately, since we’re basically out of space in this apartment, moving anything out of there would just create new clutter elsewhere.

Moving piles to new piles.

At some point, we’ll do another purge, but for today, I’ve decided to tackle just some of the random things I have left around. The dish towel I managed to track into the bedroom. The socks that ended up in the kitchen. The cereal bowl that ended up in the bathroom.

Of course, most of the wandering stuff is my stuff. Lovely Wife tends to keep things in their proper places.

While cleaning in and of itself isn’t really interesting enough for a blog post (and let’s be honest, most of the stuff in my life isn’t interesting enough for a blog post), the idea of the “filth threshold” is one that always interests me.

When is the point where cleaning moves up to the top of the list?

Every person seems to have a different level. I knew plenty of people in college that had immaculate rooms, no matter what. Even after a crazy night of whatever, they’d wake up in a neat, tidy room. If that’s one of the scale, then watching the folks on Hoarders is the other end of the spectrum. Seriously, do you need that much food? Or shoes? Or cats?

Seeing as both ends of those spectrum have their own issues, most people fall somewhere in the middle. I tend to be closer to the Hoarders side; Lovely Wife, closer to the OCD clean side. Yet, I’m the one that gets twitchy and crazy once things pass a certain threshold. Like today.

Theoretically, having more time at home should allow me to clean more, but unlike today, most days involve a crazy tunnel vision where I can’t see the filth. Of course, the minute Lovely Wife gets home, I blink my eyes, stumble out of my darkened chamber like Bambi walking on ice of the first time, and realize just what the mess is around me.

Maybe a semi-clean apartment most of the time is better than an immaculate apartment all of the time.

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